top of page

Over- coming sleep deprivation – sleep is at the end of the tunnel!

This blog post is written by Amanda Whittaker, a sleep consultant from Super Simple Sleep.

Apart from finding pregnancy hard to enjoy due to my high anxiety, and traumatic birth that I’m sure I still haven’t quite come to terms with, I was finding the new born stage hard. My little boy was 9 weeks old, my husband returned to work, and it was just us. I loved having the time together, but it was so much harder than I had anticipated.

I took my baby to a sensory class, I wasn’t really into making new mum friends, but it seemed like the done thing to take your kid to one of these classes. So, I went. There were several other mums and babies there who were all around the same age my son. We sat round in a circle and introduced ourselves and our baby. Everyone seemed to make a comment about their baby ‘being a really good

sleeper’ which I thought was odd, we love to talk about our babies, and that wouldn’t be the first thing to come to mind to mention. But as all the other mums went round, they ALL said it. There was one mum in particular who I remember having fabulous hair, definitely curls from being in rollers, a full face of make- up and she was wearing jeans! Actual jeans. There was no way I was even fitting

one leg in my legging style jeans let alone an actual proper pair. Her baby was beautiful, she had a lovely little dress and was so happy laying there. I was in awe of this women and her baby, she seemed so together and really comfortable. With each mum and baby that spoke my heart sank a little deeper each time. When it got to my turn, I lied. I said my son was also a great sleeper and he was great.

He was great, he was the best little boy, but he did not sleep, and he was either crying or being sick (was actually screaming and being sick at the same time as this was going on). In that moment I felt embarrassed to be there, I was wearing leggings and a long T-shirt that definitely had sick on it, and I actually felt quite together that day as I had managed a shower and to brush my hair. I couldn’t wait for the class to end as all my son did was cry. I left, and I told myself I wouldn’t go

back. I remember crying a lot when I got home. I felt so guilty, that I was letting my son down as I didn’t know how to help him with his sleep. I genuinely thought that every other baby was doing the exact same as him, not sleeping, and this was just what babies did.

So, of course I turned to the internet! Well, that was a mistake. Page 38 of the google search later and I was completely overwhelmed and lost. There were loads of stuff that I went on to try, Ewen the sheep, blackout blinds, the dummy, an egg in a sock (don’t bother) half an onion, you name it, I tried it. And nothing

worked. And that’s when I thought there must be something seriously wrong with my son. If all of these things weren’t working, he was broken. I feel really guilty for thinking that, but it was 4months now of no sleep, and my baby seemed to be the only one that wasn’t sleeping.

My husband worked 12hrs a day, so he was gone before morning, and back after bedtime. I had so much anxiety on the lead up to bedtime, I welcomed the break from over stimulation from constantly being needed, and the cries of a baby, but I knew It was going to take a long time to get my son to sleep, and then he would wake multiple times a night. And so, at the same time, I dreaded it. Thoughts about sleep consumed me, I became obsessed with it, mainly because I was certainly starting to really feel the affects of sleep deprivation. My mood was low, I didn’t think my maternity leave would look like this, why wasn’t I out at the park and meeting people for coffee every day? I just didn’t have the energy. I panicked about going out, what if my son would scream because he was so over tired and people looked at me? I felt isolated, everyone around me seemed to have

themselves together and was bossing motherhood, I felt like I was failing my son.

I lied. A lot. Is he sleeping through yet? Is he a good baby? (What does that even mean?!) ‘Yes, all good’ I felt like it was a reflection on my parenting. I was snappy, short tempered and extremely emotional, and quite frankly felt like I was losing my mind.

So, on one of my many internet search quests to find out exactly how to help my son sleep I came across an advert for a sleep consultant. I didn’t really know what that was, I’d never heard of one before. They had listed all that was happening for my little boy, and so I booked a call, I literally had nothing to lose. The woman at the end of the phone, for the first time made me feel like there was hope, and that there wasn’t anything wrong with my son, or me! She sounded so confident that she could help me, even though I kept telling her how stubborn and fussy my son was.

In that moment, I felt heard, understood and hopeful, and that in it -self was a game changer – not someone just telling me ‘It’s a phase, just let him sleep in your bed until he’s 12, you should be grateful you have a baby’. I spoke with my husband about hiring her, it was a financial undertaking as I was Maternity

pay, but he agreed that if we wanted my mental health to improve, and the health and wellbeing of both of us to be at its best with proper sleep, then it was an investment worth making (also to not have a grumpy wife – smart man).

This sleep consultant changed my life. Honestly, I think she saved

my life. My baby was sleeping, I was sleeping. I had the confidence to venture out, I didn’t have anxiety on the lead up to bedtime, I could do bedtime on my own. I had the energy to play with my son and enjoy my time off with him. I could keep on top of the house work, I could actually cook a meal and have a hot cup of tea. Everything benefited.

That’s exactly why I do this now for other families, I want all parents to get some rest, and I never want them to feel hopeless or alone. Sleep can always be sorted, and you can be the parent you dreamed you would be.

If you would like to get in touch with Amanda her website is

and link to her free community group is

10 views0 comments


bottom of page